MCP: Our 9th year; part of a long tradition. 

January 12, 2021

MCP: Our 9th year; part of a long tradition. 

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

I recently acquired the April 19, 1972 edition of the Mason County Press (thank you Karen Clark!). The lead story was about a tornado that struck Riverton Township. Richard Dancz, the editor and publisher, wrote several stories in that edition, telling about how residents along Hawley Road, west of Scottville Road, lost their homes and the cleanup efforts that followed. The edition also included stories about a rezoning request that was denied in Scottville and how the Scottville City Commission was considering Sunday liquor sales. 

I love newspapers and am honored to be the current owner of the Mason County Press brand.

The Mason County Press began publishing in Scottville as a weekly newspaper on Aug. 24, 1938. Harry E. Kruse was the first publisher/editor. The paper was published consecutively for just under 38 years until March 11, 1976. It was then revised briefly from 1986 to 1987. 

In 1986 and 1987, I was a student at Mason County Central High School and served as a “stringer” for the paper, meaning a casual part-time reporter. This was my first experience working for a newspaper. 

On Jan. 8, 2012, I started MasonCountyPress.com, an online, free, news service. I love newspapers. I love the feel of the paper and love the whole process of putting it together. If publishing a weekly newspaper was still a viable business model, I would do it. But, the reality of the 21st century is that print is no longer profitable. This is a tough one for a person like me, who tends to be rather nostalgic. 

Because of that nostalgic personality, and also because of my love of local history, I often receive historical items from people, including copies of old Mason County Press newspapers. It used to be common practice in the newspaper industry to bound the papers and then record them onto microfilm. Newspapers serve as a matter of historical record. Unfortunately, there are no bound or microfilm copies of the old MCP. So, I’ve made it a personal goal to collect as many as possible, digitize them and then donate the originals and digital files to the Mason County Historical Society (along with a donation of the digital files to the Mason County District Library as well). 

If you have a copy of the Mason County Press sitting around, please contact me at [email protected], call/text at 231-757-3202, or mail it to PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. 

As noted above, we just celebrated our ninth anniversary as the modern day version of Mason County Press. I am very blessed to own this company and provide this service to the people of Mason County, along with the people of Oceana County with the Oceana County Press (started in 2014). We are the only locally owned news service. 

I am very thankful for the advertisers and individuals who support our services so they can be brought to you, the reader, for free. Local journalism is more important than ever. We try our best to inform the public of what is happening in our area. 

Most importantly, I am thankful for my great team who work hard getting the news to you. I believe we have the best news team around: Allison Scarbrough serves as editor of Oceana County Press and also is our primary police/court reporter. Kate Krieger-Watkins is a staff writer and also host of our weekly webcast The Scoop. Alan Neushwander also serves as a contributing writer and host of The Scoop and our weekly sports/recreation webcast Full Court Press. Toni Swinehart is also a host Full Court Press. Katie Provenzano is our video editor who works behind the scenes on The Scoop and FCP. My wife, Becky, serves as vice president of our company and is invaluable in offering business advice. 

Naturally, I am also thankful to you, the readers, for your support. We are always working on ways of improving our product and welcome constructive suggestions that help us be better. 

Please consider helping to fund local news. Mason County Press and Oceana County Press are available for free thanks to the generous support of our advertisers and individuals who support our service. Click on the PayPal donation button located on the top right of our website. 

This story is copyrighted © 2020, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

As the services of Media Group 31, LLC are news services, the information posted within the sites are archivable for public record and historical posterity. For this reason it is the policy and practice of this company to not delete postings. It is the editor’s discretion to update or edit a story when/if new information becomes available. This may be done by editing the posted story or posting a new “follow-up” story. Media Group 31, LLC or any of its agents have the right to make any changes to this policy. Refer to Use Policy for more information.

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